Nearly 20 Percent of Patients with Rheumatologic Diseases Consume Cannabis

Clermont-Ferrand, France: A significant minority of patients with rheumatologic diseases – such as lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis – actively consume cannabis, according to data published in the journal Rheumatology.

A team of French researchers conducted a meta-analysis of the relevant literature specific to the use of cannabis in patients with rheumatologic diseases.

Researchers reported that approximately 17 percent of all patients with rheumatological diseases are active consumers of cannabis. Cannabis use was most common among patients with fibromyalgia. Overall, cannabis consumers tended to be younger in age and were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate pain.

Authors concluded: “In this meta-analysis, we found that one in six patients suffering from rheumatologic disease actively consumes cannabis, reducing in pain reduction. … A favorable effect of cannabis on pain in our meta-analysis reinforces the idea that cannabis could be used for analgesic purposes.”

Placebo-controlled clinical trial data published last month in the journal Pain Medicine reported that the administration of plant-derived THC-rich cannabis oil is effective and well-tolerated among fibromyalgia patients. By contrast, less data is available at this time assessing the efficacy of cannabis for other rheumatological conditions, like lupus, spondylitis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use assessment and its impact on pain in rheumatologic diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” appears in Rheumatology.